It’s funny who you bump into in airports.
I was having a pretty lousy morning, truth be told. I’d returned the car to Malpensa airport after an awesome Monza weekend, only to discover some donut had driven into the front right wheel arch over the weekend – something I had completely failed to pick up. Anyway, not a lot one can do. With the knowledge I’d have a repair bill, I then had to rush to make check in for the flight home… and I was running late.
Not to worry, the good ship Sleazyjet was also running late. Very late. Our 9:55 am flight was now scheduled for a 1pm departure. Joy of joys.
So with a panini and an ice tea in hand to conquer the hangover from the Just Cavali party the night before, I sat down and bumped into one of the coolest people I’ve met all year.
He looked very familiar to me. I recognised him from quite a few flights this year and I always assumed he was something to do with F1 because we always seemed to be flying to the same place.
His name is Alex Snell, and it turns out that Alex is, quite possibly, the biggest F1 fan on the face of the earth.
About six years ago, Alex and a few mates had a few too many beers and came up with the idea of going to every single Grand Prix for one whole season. But, as Alex himself said, while most of his mates grew up and got realistic, had kids, got mortgages etc, Alex worked his ass off, saved every penny he could, moved back in with his folks and then, when the 2010 F1 calendar came out, started spending what he’d been saving for the last half a decade.
His is a story of total dedication to the sport he loves. The number of wristbands he has from various events tell the story of a year he has clearly enjoyed… and the great thing is that he’s keeping a blog about the whole thing. There are tonnes of photos (including cookie monster at every Grand Prix event) and he’s on twitter too. He’s been to more races than many rather well known journalists this season… mentioning no names (but I’m on that list having taken the first three races off), and thus far rates Monza and Spa as among the best circuits yet visited.
You meet a lot of people doing this job, but Alex is pretty unique. He’s absolutely living the dream, and I’ve got massive respect for him for just jumping in with both feet. I’ve got his details, and he’s got mine, so I hope that we get together for a few beers over the remaining races… there are some good eateries in Brazil I need to introduce him to, for starters.
Alex asked about my weekend in Monza and beamed a huge smile when I told him I’d managed to grab Kasabian and the Stereophonics on the grid for SPEED.
But if I’m totally honest, the most rock and roll person I met all weekend was Alex himself.
Living the dream. What a legend!